Great hubris in our time

hubrishubris 2

(Unlike Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods to give it to humans, these others stole oil resources from their owners and gave them to themselves)

‘The Hubris syndrome’, by David Owen (medical doctor and politician)

‘For some politicians and business leaders, power can become an intoxicating drug and can affect their actions and decision making in a most serious way. The ancient Greeks called it hubris and identified arrogance and contempt for others’ opinions as classic traits. They also took comfort in the knowledge that the Gods would punish the guilty ones – nemesis. In this revised edition, David Owen has drawn on new material he has written in Brain and other medical journals. He has also drawn on published memoirs of the main players in the Iraq War and on evidence given to the Iraq Inquiry. All this reinforces his earlier assertion that George W Bush and Tony Blair developed hubris syndrome during their terms in office. From their behaviour, beliefs and governing style, Owen has analyzed the two leaders, with particular reference to the Iraq War, to show that their handling of the war was a litany of hubristic incompetence. During Blair’s premiership, David Owen had several meetings and conversations with him that afforded a unique insight into his modus operandi. In this book Owen presents a devastating critique of how Blair and Bush manipulated intelligence, ignored informed advice and failed to plan for the aftermath of regime change in Iraq. Their messianic manner, excessive confidence and belief that they would be vindicated by a ‘higher court’, brought chaos to Iraq and resulted in hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties.’  Amazon presentation of book.


‘Peter Beinart–formerly an editor at The New Republic and currently a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and associate professor of journalism and political science at City University of New York–has undertaken a detailed interpretation of U.S. foreign policy since the Progressive Era. He argues in The Icarus Syndrome: A History of American Hubris that America’s rise to global power has been accompanied by an expanding hubris that has evolved through three phases: reason, toughness, and dominance, represented most saliently in the presidencies of Woodrow Wilson, Lyndon B. Johnson, and George W. Bush, respectively’.  Amazon books


About amartingarcia

General surgeon (retired). Studied Western philosophy at U of Toronto. Afterwards interest turned to advaita vedanta and non-duality for past 20 yrs, plus a long interlude in Sufism coinciding with that period. Now contributing in ’Advaita Vision’ with regular posts and discussions.
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